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Gun ownership requires a sober, informed decision
Many Americans are skeptical of President Obama's claim that he respects the 2nd Amendment and has no interest in taking guns away from level-headed, law-abiding citizens who want to use them for self-protection, hunting and recreation, alarmed at his executive actions on background checks and private sales.
At a town hall meeting, the president acknowledged that he's been good for the firearms industry, which has strong sales after mass shootings and political pronouncements.
Red states are responding with laws of their own designed to preserve gun rights, even to the point of defying federal law.
Nebraska and about 20 other states have enacted "parking lot" or "guns in trunks" laws which prevent companies from preventing employees keeping firearms in their vehicles in an employer-owned parking lot.
But that opens up all sorts of legal questions for companies: are they liable for failing to provide a safe workplace by allowing the firearm on company property?
Are employees permitted to possess firearms in company vehicles or vehicles used for company business?
Is specific signage required to legally prohibit employees or others from bringing a firearm into the employer's business?
Many of the same types of questions apply to private homes.
Yes, having a gun in your home gives you a fighting chance should you encounter an armed burglar or home invader, and most burglars will stay away from homes if they know someone is home.
But owning a gun makes living in the home statistically more dangerous. Guns unfortunately can't discriminate between criminals and innocent bystanders, and unintentional shootings are four times as common as legitimate home defense situations.
Statistically, no matter what type of gun you own, how you store it or how many guns you own, your chances increase of becoming the victim of a firearm-related homicide or suicide.
And, despite their parents' best efforts, children often handle guns in the home without their parents knowledge. In one study, 22 percent of parents who believed that their children had never handled the guns in the home were contradicted by the children themselves.
Furthermore, in 72 percent of the cases where a child or teen is killed by a firearm, the gun that killed them comes from their own home.
Is owning a gun worth it?
That's for you to decide after making a sober, informed decision, not as a response to overblown political rhetoric.